The departmental honors program is intended for senior majors in political science. Students who have successfully completed at least 15 credits in political science with a 3.4 grade-point average or better in these courses and a 3.0 overall grade-point average or better are invited to apply. Eligible candidates may pursue honors by either of two courses of study. The first is a 6-credit senior thesis option in which students are expected to conduct original research and prepare an original piece of scholarship as their senior thesis. It involves enrollment in two semesters of Honors in Political Science (01:790:495-496) in the senior year. Both semesters must be completed to receive credit. Individual students are responsible for recruiting an appropriate faculty member to supervise their research and thesis. Interested students should draft a thesis proposal and consult with faculty members whose expertise lies in an appropriate area or with whom the student has taken courses previously. Individual faculty members will indicate their specific requirements for the completion of departmental honors. During the second semester of work, a faculty committee will conduct an oral examination in which the honors candidate will defend his or her findings and will be expected to demonstrate a grasp of the literature in the area encompassed by the research undertaken.
The second way of achieving honors requires completion of an honors thesis in the School of Arts and Sciences. Students who select this option must meet the departmental grade-point average requirements for honors. Successful completion of such an honors thesis under the supervision of a faculty member in the Department of Political Science automatically will result in the award of departmental honors.